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Your 2024 Guide to Passover Prep & Shopping

Passover 2024 begins at sundown on Monday, April 22 and lasts for seven days in Israel and eight in the diaspora, so now’s the time to start getting ready!

Many people begin preparing for Passover weeks or even months ahead of time by planning each meal, making shopping lists, inviting guests, ordering Judaica and gifts, buying matzah and Kosher for Passover groceries, and cleaning their homes. If you haven’t started preparing yet, don’t worry… the Judaica Webstore team has you covered! We have compiled this guide to demystify the Passover prep process so you can have a stress-free holiday.

Shopping

If you wait until the day before Passover to go shopping, you may face slim-pickings at the supermarket. It’s best to plan ahead to figure out what you need and where to buy it. When buying matzah, gefilte fish, matzo ball soup mix, and other traditional foods, read the label carefully to make sure it is truly Kosher for Passover, as not all are!

Also, make sure you don’t forget to add the foods you’ll put on the Seder plate to your shopping list. (Unsure what you need? Check out our Seder Plate Guide!)

And for all the ritual items you need for the Seder itself, see our handy guide here.

Traditional Israeli charoset made from dates, apples, red wine, nuts, and spices

Cleaning

Traditional Jewish law prohibits the presence of any chametz, or leavened bread, in one’s home during Passover, so many people will deep clean every area of their house that any cracker crumbs or bread pieces may have touched. This can take a few days, so give yourself adequate time to get into every nook and cranny! 

There is also a specific cleaning ritual some families partake in the night before Passover, called bedikat chametz (literally, “checking chametz”).

Additionally, depending on your level of observance, you may wish to kasher your appliances, countertops, sinks, and other parts of your kitchen to make them Kosher for Passover. There are various ways to do this according to Judaism’s many interpretations and customs, so for exact guidance, consult a trusted rabbi.

Dishes

Many people use separate dishes throughout the eight-day holiday that are Kosher for Passover, meaning the tableware, pots, pans, and cutlery have not come into any contact with chametz. Some also opt to use festive items designed especially for Passover.

It is also possible to kasher kitchenware you already have, but it’s best to ask a rabbi you trust for specific instructions, as not every material is able to be made Kosher for Passover according to traditional Jewish law. If you’re in a bind, disposable tableware is always an option!

Selling of Chametz

If you have Costco-sized bags of pasta that you cannot possibly finish before Passover, do not fear! Any chametz that you are unable to get rid of can be sold to a non-Jewish person for the duration of the holiday. You can still keep the items in your home, but place them in a cupboard or closet that will be sealed off for the duration of the holiday.

Creating a contract that is adherent to Jewish law and finding someone to sign it can be challenging, so there are many synagogues and rabbis that will act as a middleman to sell your chametz. Reach out to a rabbi in your community sooner rather than later if you need to sell your chametz!

Fast of the Firstborn

There is an ancient tradition for the firstborn in each family to fast the day before Passover to commemorate the Jewish firstborn sons being spared during the Plagues in Egypt. If this is your custom, prepare for the fast by eating and hydrading enough beforehand!

It is also possible to avoid fasting by participating in a siyum celebration, which may be organized by your synagogue in advance of Passover.

Buying Gifts for Hosts and Loved Ones

While not everyone has a practice of gift-giving during Passover, it’s not uncommon to give presents to one’s children during the Seder in exchange for the afikomen, or to give small gifts of appreciation for one’s Seder hosts, parents, or other family members.

Head over to our site for all the best Passover gifts, including our top gifts for hosts, for mom and for dad, and all the best Seder essentials! And don’t forget a Passover gift basket for family and fun gifts for the kids.

Preparing Spiritually

Passover is more than a festive meal or an excuse to do your spring cleaning — it is also a time for reflection due to the holiday’s rich symbolism.

There is no one correct way to identify with Passover. Maybe you are struggling with an illness, affliction, or issue that makes you feel like you are trapped in Egypt and you are eagerly searching for a way to reach your Promised Land. Perhaps you’re holding onto spiritual chametz that you would find liberation in letting go of. Maybe you’re holding confusion and guilt as we celebrate our freedom while so many other peoples around the world still face forms of slavery and oppression.

All of this is normal. There are many Passover-related opportunities for spiritual reflection available both on the internet and in-person, such as journal prompts, webinars, special educational haggadahsprayer books, virtual retreats, synagogue events, and blogs and other reading materials.

And don’t forget to head over to our store for all the  Passover Judaica and gifts you’ll need, plus the best Israeli-made Seder essentials!

We’re breaking down everything you need for an unforgettable Passover holiday, along with some of the best items from Israeli artists!

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